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  • The ability to study the cognitive function of individuals while they perform their duties has great potential for improving soldier performance under stress. Current developments in computerized and miniaturized technology appear to permit expanded studies of real-time cognitive behavior. Support for the development of specific monitoring devices that are compatible with military field equipment may be necessary to implement this technology.

Recommendations

  • Anthropometric equations remain the most practical tools for assessment of body composition in field situations. More sophisticated technologies such as DXA and MRI should be used to develop criterion measures for refinement of the equations.
  • Tracer methodology is important for measuring energy expenditure and metabolism. Further development of stable isotope techniques in collaboration with the private sector is recommended for greater field applicability.
  • A foot-contact method shows promise for ambulatory monitoring of energy expenditure.
  • The military should keep abreast of research in the private sector that uses molecular cloning techniques to study the effects of nutritional and other stressors on gene expression, but this research should not be undertaken by the military at this time.
  • Development of vaccines that are effective against infectious diseases of unique significance to military populations should be pursued.
  • Noninvasive techniques for the assessment of cognitive function during operational task performance should be developed further.

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The committee's responses to the questions, conclusions, and recommendations from this report are included in Appendix H.



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